Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Activity Tracker Stress

Tuesday Tip: Activity Tracker Stress ⌚️

Wearable fitness trackers like Fitbit, Apple Watches, etc might not be doing as much good as you think they are. Whilst they undoubtably have benefits when it comes to encouraging more activity etc these watches can actually be making you more stressed, cause you anxiety and to overthink what matters and even cause you to gain weight.

Here’s why… (and what to do instead)

These trackers can cause you stress because:

• You become obsessed with numbers.

• You end up going for a walk to hit a certain step count, not to enjoy the walk.

• You feel great upon waking, but your

watch tells you your sleep score is poor so now you’re worried about what’s wrong?

• You’re making progress in real life (getting stronger, maybe losing fat, being more active etc), but the scores on the watch don’t reflect that.

You end up overthinking what matters:

• You’re focused on the outcome (uncontrollable) more than the process and consistency (controllable)

•You are focused on achieving certain targets on the watch which don’t actually relate to the goals you want to achieve

• You’re “gamifying” fitness and health so much that it becomes a means to an end in itself, rather than using the data to enhance your life.

They can even make you gain weight because:

• You eat back calories burned. I’ve discussed this in depth before but many studies have demonstrated that these trackers have error rates of 40-90% for energy expenditure.

• You’re letting your workouts be determined by the watch – working less intensely because the watch tells you to, or working at a supposed ‘fat burning’ zone (again something I’ve discussed before and something that doesn’t exist in the way we think it does). Therefore actually burning fewer calories. You may also prioritise certain workouts because of the data it provides when it may not actually be the best workout to be doing for your goals.

What to do instead:

# Measure progress using things such as the number of calories consumed, improvements in strength over time, body measurements, average hours of sleep (rather than a sleep score), etc.

# Use the devices as ONE piece of data to encourage consistency, not the be all and end all

# By all means use them to track steps/mileage but only to the point where it doesn’t cause added stress. No one needs to be marching around their bedroom at midnight to add an extra 200 steps to their goal of they’ve already walked 9,800 that day!

# Use the heart rate function – a decreasing resting heart rate is a great goal and measure of overall health.

If you enjoy using these trackers then that’s fab but just be aware that it can be a slippery slope from using data to depending on it .

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

A brown roll is healthier…Or is it?

A brown roll is healthier…Or is it? 🍞

Most people feel like they’re being healthier if they’re having a brown roll rather than white. However is it actually that much better?

White grain products have just had the outer layer of the grain removed – in most cases this doesn’t remove that much in terms of nutrition. In terms of calories both products tend to be the similar, although sometimes the white version is actually lower in cals so if you’re tracking your intake then it can be a way to cut some cals. In this example you can see that the brown roll is marginally more calories for a standard 60g roll.

But what about fibre I hear you cry? Well as you can see, the fibre content is actually not that different. The brown roll does have more fibre but only 0.8g more. If you’re already having a balanced diet, which includes fruit, veg and other grains, then you’re better off simply choosing the one you prefer the taste of and not worrying too much about the fibre. If you’re trying to reduce calories then pay attention to the calories in the roll you choose as they do vary!


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Visual cues

Tuesday Tip: Visual cues 👀

Portion control is one of the biggest issues when it comes to losing weight.

We often gauge how much to eat by how much food is placed in front of us; the eat what’s on your plate approach. This even holds true when the plate refills e.g. in one study those that had soup in a bowl that refilled from a hidden tube in the bottom consumed 73% more soup than when eating from a regular bowl.

When it comes to snacks (biscuits, crisps etc) “you can’t eat just one,” right? If we have larger bags we eat more. With the current cost of living crisis this is likely to become more of an issue if we buy in bulk to save costs. However visual cues to portion size mean people eat less e.g. in one study on stackable crisps (Pringles) researchers inserted a red crisp to indicate portion size. Participants weren’t told what the red crisp indicated. Those with the red crisps tended to stop eating sooner than those without. It acted as a sort of “stop sign,” a subconscious indicator you’ve had enough. In another study participants were given unlimited fried chicken wings whilst watching a film. One group had the bones cleared from their plate regularly, one didn’t. Those that didn’t ate far more as they acted as a visual indicator of what had been eaten.

Essentially there are 3 reasons we overeat beyond satisfaction in these scenarios:

– We lose track of how much we have eaten

– We perceive a ‘normal amount’ of food to be whatever the serving size happens to be.

– Eating has become a semiautomated habitual activity, which continues until interrupted e.g you’re focused on the tv instead

Visual cues help regulate how much you eat by showing the appropriate serving size, letting you keep track of what you’ve eaten and by interrupting the semiautomated eating we tend to do when watching a film etc. How can we do this?

⁃ Use smaller plates or bowls = smaller portions. you’ll automatically eat less.

⁃ Buy pre-portioned snacks or measure out your snacks into a bowl and leave the packet in the cupboard etc.

⁃ Leave wrappers, drinks cans etc on the table so you can see how much you’ve already eaten/drunk.

⁃ Pay attention to what you’re eating and avoid mindless eating for an extended duration.

These small changes can lead to big calorie savings over time!

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘Lower sugar must mean lower caloires……’ 🤔 🍪

Sugar is often vilified as the cause of all health issues and as a result many companies have latched on to the idea that people are keen to reduce their sugar consumption. Now whilst sugar in excess amounts is undoubtedly not good (no nutrient in excess is) normal amounts of sugar in the diet are absolutely fine. However if you’re diabetic or trying to reduce your reliance on sugary snacks then it may be sensible to opt for some lower sugar options.

If you’re trying to lose weight (fat) then you may also decide to reduce sugar consumption. Many people equate lower sugar to mean lower calorie and would therefore go for the reduced sugar option in the belief that it would help them lose weight. This example highlights why it pays to look past the marketing.

A normal rich tea biscuit has 1.5g sugar and is 38 cals. The light rich tea biscuit – which not only has ‘30 percent less sugar’ on the label and prominently displayed the calories per biscuit…. Is also 38 cals per biscuit! Yes it has 0.4 g less sugar but the cals are the same. It’s clear they’re trying to suggest that they’re lower calorie as they display the cals on the front, whereas for a normal rich tea biscuit you have to look at the nutritional info on the back. So at first glance you’d assume it was a lower calorie option. It’s not really! Clever eh?

In addition the ‘light’ biscuits are also more expensive.

So if you’re trying to reduce your calories and are going for the reduced sugar versions of things you love just take some time to check the calories and portion sizes and see if there really is a difference. If you enjoy the reduced sugar option and it helps to keep you on track then go for it! But don’t pay more for a marketing ploy when you don’t need to. Enjoy the biscuits you like, in moderation, as part of a balanced diet 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Lost motivation?

Tuesday Tip: Lost motivation? 🤔

Do you feel like you’ve lost motivation? I hear this a lot – clients tell me they’ve just lost their motivation and don’t know how to get it back. But the fact they’re even thinking that means they haven’t lost motivation and neither have you. You’ve just lost momentum. The forward motion has just stalled temporarily – that’s all!

Here are some things you can do to ‘get back on the wagon’ and regain that momentum.

#1: Start small – with one small step and one small win. When you first started you took one step at a time – so go back to that. Whether it’s tracking your next meal, filling half your plate with veggies, hitting 1000 extra steps today etc. Small wins for the big wins!

#2: Take one day at a time. It takes time to rebuild habits so just focus on getting back into some of those habits – like tracking cals, reducing alcohol intake, doing a workout a week etc. Set yourself some daily and weekly, achievable goals.

#3: Try to remember what motivated you to start originally – maybe it was a specific event you wanted you lose weight for, or maybe it was to ensure you’d be a fit and healthy for your children/grand children, maybe it was a goal to take part in a sporting event. Got back to that and write it down your goal and why it’s important to you.

#4: Tell someone! Communicating your intentions and goals to someone will increase your chances of success of sticking to it! Find an accountability buddy!

#5: Choose exercise you enjoy! There is literally no point in trying to build exercise habits based on things you hate. You’ll never stick to it! Join a class, try swimming, focus on walking, or resistance training , or join a local sports club. You’re more likely to keep at it if you enjoy

what you’re doing.

#6: Incorporate foods you enjoy! This has to be a long term lifestyle change – so cutting out foods you love won’t allow you to do that. Find ways to include the food and drink you love – just moderate the amounts and frequency if you need!

Happy Tuesday 🤗